ARE TODAY'S FARMERS GOOD LAND STEWARDS?
Wanda Patsche is working to "bridge the gap" between American farmers and consumers. A farmer herself from southern rural Minnesota, Wanda, uses social media to reach out, share her personal stories, and answer consumer questions.
In her blog post for this week, she asks "Are today's farmers good land stewards?"
Using pictures and details from her own family farm, she answers and debunks myths about the effects modern agriculture have on our land. She sums it all up very well saying, "At the end of the day, no one is closer to the land than a farmer. And it only behooves him to treat the land resources the best he can so farms can be passed down to the next generation."
Read more from Wanda and hear her side of the story:
Are Today's Farmers Good Land Stewards?
"Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land's inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmer produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery." -- Wendell Berry
As I read this quote by Wendell Berry, I couldn't help but think about our family farm. And I thought about it a lot. Are we really good land stewards?
I started by breaking down the question. Good land stewardship means to "take care of" the land. We are God's caretakers. The big question is, what constitutes good land stewardship? How ARE we taking care of the land? To take care of the land to me means "to not harm the soils or environment, but protect it and even enhance it". So are farmers, using modern agriculture techniques, able to be good land stewards and not harm the soils or the environment?
There are a number of processes a farmer goes through to raise a crop. The first and foremost process is to prepare a favorable seed bed. To prepare a favorable seed bed the soil needs to be tilled after the previous crop. Tilling helps to break down crop residue, which results in soil organic material. This is comparable to rototilling we do in our gardens.
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